photos and article by Jessica Shepherd
Nothing compares to the quality of hand crafted lip gloss made from the most exquisite and organic ingredients. I recently had so much fun gifting out this Spring batch of lip gloss I made to a group of my lovely herbalist friends. I felt like I was the lip gloss fairy! Then watched with a smile, as all the gals tried it out saying “oooh, aaah, feels great and tastes great”! Sheer satisfaction for me—gifting my friends hand-made herbal treats! Truly “good for you” gifts!
This lip gloss takes care of chapped or wind-burned lips and contains especially hydrating and soothing ingredients like cocoa butter, coconut oil, honey, and the deep healing and repair of the herbal infused oils. I also had some locally grown and produced Macadamia nut oil that I was lucky to purchase at a Farmer’s Market in Hawaii, while there on a trip this past March. Its truly the glossy definition of emollient which means: “making soft or supple; soothing especially to the skin or mucous membrane”. Personally, I prefer to pass on the petroleum, propylene glycol, paraben’s, and other synthetic chemicals that conventional lip balms, and other body products contain. I know that what I put on my skin can and usually will, find its way into my bloodstream. So I take pride in discovering ways to make my own healthy plant-based body care recipes, and hope that sharing some of my recipes will inspire and empower you to do the same!
Spring Nectar Lip Gloss
I am calling this a gloss, rather than a balm, because I wanted a slightly softer lip balm that was able to glide easily across the lips and soak right into dry areas. This lip-gloss offers healing skin repair to chapped, wind-burned, and sunburned, lips while also working to keep the lips supple, moist, and plump. Yum, it has a great subtle taste from the herbs and added essential oils, making the lips feel lovely and silky smooth! Keep in mind if you don’t have an herb infused oil on hand, or if you don’t have or want to get the Mac nut oil (you really should treat yourself to it though!)–you can always just substitute any regular organic oil like plain Sunflower oil, or Almond oil, Hemp seed oil, Sesame, Olive oil, you get the idea–any of those will work–just be sure to use the total amount of 6 ounces of oil and follow the directions from there!
Here is the recipe– and as always organic ingredients are preferred!
Yields aprrox. 28 tubes
¼ oz empty lip balm tubes, about 28 you’ll need
4 oz. Herbal Infused Oil — I used a blend I always have on hand which is Lavender, Calendula, and Rose petals infused in Sunflower oil. To make this: Take 1 ounce of each dried herb and put them in a quart sized mason jar. Cover with your sunflower oil to fill the jar. Seal the lid on the jar and let the oil and flowers soak for 2-4 weeks in a cool dark place, visiting your infusing oil every few days shaking it to distribute the oil around, and offer it your blessings and love! Then after that time, strain off the herbs from the oil, and viola’ you have an infused herbal oil! You can add 1 tbsp. of Vitamin E to this to help preserve it and it should keep for up to one year. It can not only be used in your lip balm base, but also on its own as a body oil or massage oil, and in your other body products like creams, lotions, and salt or sugar scrubs.
2 oz. Macadamia nut oil-– a protective oil to the skin with a high absorption rate, soothes burns, and helps with scars, nourishing to the skin
2 ½ tbsp. Cocoa butter–reduces dryness and helps improve the elasticity of the skin tissue, it also lends a thick and creamy consistency to blends like lip balms, lotions, creams etc. Oh, and of course, it smells like chocolate!
4 tbsp. of grated Beeswax–increases essential moisture in the skin, has mild anti-bacterial properties, contains Vitamin A, and is a natural emulsifier suitable for use in all types of body products (lotions, salves, balms etc.)
1 tbsp. Coconut oil– soothing and moisturizing
2 tsp. Honey- anti-bacterial and humectant– meaning it promotes the retention of moisture
8 drops Lime essential oil–bright and cheery, anti-septic, acts as a “natural preservative” (all essential oils help to add a preservative quality to your home made goodies (creams, lotions, balms etc.) and lengthen their “shelf life”
15 drops Wild Orange essential oil–adds a yummy flavor, cheers the spirits, and is anti-bacterial
10 drops Lavender essential oil–soothing to burns, helps scars, and nourishes
5 drops Rose Geranium essential oil--soothing, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, has a delicate herbaceous rose scent
2 tsp. Vanilla extract--excellent for burns, cooling and soothing, also adds that flavor we all know and love!
To make the lip gloss: Take a sauce pan and fill it halfway and bring the water to a simmer then turn heat to medium-low. Take your glass pyrex measuring cup and fill it with specified amount of herbal oil, mac nut oil, and then add in the cocoa butter, coconut oil, and beeswax to that. Set the pyrex in the hot water of the saucepan, stir with a chopstick here and there until everything has melted together.
Now, before adding your other ingredients do what we call a “spoon test” with your lip gloss base—the melted goods you have in the pyrex. So take a spoon and scoop a little of the hot liquid and set the spoon in your freezer (I usually set it on a paper towel in case of spilage). Let the spoon sit in the freezer for about 10 minutes. After that time take it out and dip your finger in it, getting an idea of the consistency of the gloss. If it seems to liquidy and not solid enough that is a great indicator you want to add more beeswax to make it more solid. On the contrary, if it is too solid and hard, you want to add a little more oil to your pyrex of melting goods. I adjust it usually by the ½ tablespoon or so until I do another spoon test and reach my desired consistency. Once you have that perfected you can take the pyrex with melted oils, butter, and wax and set it on the counter to cool down for a good 10 minutes.
After that grab a clean chopstick and add in your honey and mix well, then add in the essential oils drop by drop mixing well after, and then finally add your vanilla extract. Stir it all together mixing with love! Now, from the pyrex you are ready to pour up your lip gloss into the tubes. I just hold a tube in my left hand and slowly, with my right hand pour from the pyrex, until the gloss reaches the top of the tube, or even spills over the sides if you go too quick—that’s okay you can clean it up! In between filling a few tubes, be sure to give the oils and wax a stir again to help distribute the vanilla, honey, and essential oils throughout. At a slow and steady pace you’ll get the hang of it– and before you know it you’ll have filled 28 lip balm tubes!
I let them stand on the counter for a bit before I put the caps on and move em’ around. You want to allow for a wee bit of time for the lip gloss to cool and “set” or harden in the tube. You can speed this process up after letting it cool enough on the counter that you can put the lids on with out spilling liquid, just put them in the refrigerator for about a half hour, and it will be “set” and ready to gloss upon your lips! Of course, my final step is to wipe the tube off of any spilled gloss that occurred during the pouring procees (rubbing alcohol works well for this!), then label it with a fun name and your ingredients. Your lip balm will stay good or have a “shelf life” for at least one year!
If I purchase a lip balm, which I do sometimes if I can’t find time to make my own, these are a few of the brands I choose—Wild Carrot Herbals rich and creamy with a few different choices, Terra Firma Botanicals makes a lip balm called “Love Oil Lip Balm” and its one of my favorites– super silky with an awesome flavor, and then there is Eagle Peak herbals–they make a wonderful herb infused lip balm using all the top skin loving herbs many of which they grow themselves or ethically wildcraft!
Enjoy and Cheers to your happy juicy lips!!! Now go give someone a smooch!